Anxiety can be a debilitating condition and it seems to be on the increase among all ages. Everyone feels anxiety at some time, and it can be useful in some situations – for instance it can warn us to take care crossing the road, or motivate us to work hard at exams. However, when you have overwhelming feelings of unease, worry or fear which impact frequently on your everyday life, then you need to take action.
I help many clients with anxiety, often in a few sessions. I also see teenagers, and offer a five-week course for managing anxiety.
My approach blends the following:
- Emotional support, helping you to explore your worries, fears and thoughts
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which looks at gaining perspective with negative thoughts
- Mindfulness relaxation, which has shown to be beneficial for overcoming anxiety
If you have anxiety long term the condition is known as Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD). It can have genetic and environmental origins, although our understanding of the combination of these factors is still incomplete. Symptoms can be both physical and psychological. These are a few of them:
- Pounding heartbeat or palpitations
- Fast breathing
- Chest pains
- Feeling faint
- Loss of appetite
- High blood pressure
- Feeling worried or uneasy much of the time
- Poor sleep and concentration
- Inability to relax
- Feeling on edge or tearful
Our brains are still designed to be ready for threats (the fight or flight mechanism). But there are no sabre-toothed tigers about these days and our stresses are more psychological than physical: other than in cases of physical threat, we can’t fight and we can’t run away, so we sit and bottle up the frustrations and worries.
Causes of anxiety
- Worry over a problem
- Relationship difficulties
- Over work
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Panic disorder (causing panic attacks)
As well as feeling worried and panicky, anxiety can cause irrational and irritable behaviour, having an impact on family relationships and friendships. Social anxiety disorder extends this to social situations, and a child with worried and anxious parents may well develop this condition.
“I definitely feel different a lot of the time now. Before (counselling) I felt lost and didn’t know who I was, now I understand things more. I have been able to recognise when I’m feeling low and have coping methods now which help pull me out before I spiral.”
SL, counselling client with anxiety
During my counselling for anxiety we consider a number of aspects to a balanced life:
- Relaxation (mindfulness breathing)
- Social life and friendships
- Thoughts and beliefs
- Confidence building
- Emotional resilience
Other counselling situations
- Relationships – partners, affairs, family, children, friends, estrangement, bereavement
- Reproductive – fertility, miscarriage and stillbirth, fertility preservation, termination, pregnancy and birth, postnatal depression, donor conception and donor conceived people
- Work – careers, redundancy, bullying, relationships with colleagues
- Personal – self-esteem and confidence, bullying, sexuality
Please contact Sandra to discuss your situation and concerns. If I am not the right person for you I will help signpost you to appropriate sources of help.